Had to replace the gear-box, decided to do the Jeep steering-shaft conversion. As with everything done on this car, it took far longer than anticipated- an honest 8-10 hours... the pitman arm refused to budge, broke several tools, finally resorted to heating the arm to get it off the gearbox. FINALLY got it done, not pretty happy with the tighter steering (and not weaving down the road like a drunk sailor).
Next item of business is the suspension. It sits like this, right now:
At the tops of the wheel-wells, it stands at 27.5" in the front, 28.5" in the rear. The front already has the Belltech 2100 2" drop spindles, and it still sits way too high. I'd like to have the tops of the wheels about even with the fenderwell. So I need to drop the front 1.5" front, 2.5" rear.
So looking at the spring options, including the S10 springs, and the various discussion including this Monte Carlo Drop Springs
write-up, I was still not satisfied with the different options available. For starters, I wanted to have 40% higher spring rate (+/-10% as long as it was consistent), while dropping the front ~2" in front and 3" in the rear. I also don't want to have to cut coils, as the spring rates tend to get higher the more you cut, and the results can be unpredictable. So I need something that will give me that much drop at the minimum, and then I can use urethene coil spacers to fine-tune for the exact height I need. This way the spring rate stays constant, and I have a bit of adjustment versus the "cut and hope it wasn't too
much" approach. I did that kind of stuff 30 years ago, and it just don't
get it, anymore.
Ok, now that we have some goals, it was time to download the entire Moog spring inventory, and start using table filters to slice-and-dice the data.
The rear springs have a factory rating of 142#/inch, so a 40% increase in spring rate (+/-) puts me at 198.8#/inch. The Moog 3229 fits the bill nicely, with a 200#/inch spring rate, and should drop the rear of the 2.95", by my calculations. The Moog 3229 spring comes stock in the 97-06 Jeep Wranglers of various trim levels, and can be found used for as little as $40, if you're on an anorexic budget. I found some new ones on EBay for $55
shipped to my door.
For the front, again looking for a 40% increase in spring rate puts me at 588#/inch versus the factory 422#/inch. The typical S-10 spring options, Moog 5658 or 5660, are both close, but both fail to drop the nose sufficiently. If I cut the springs to get the right height, I now have no idea what the spring rate is, so... that's a non-starter for me. Again digging for several days into the Moog inventory, I came up with spring #80908. This delivers 644#/inch, while dropping the nose ~2.2 inches. The inner diameter is a little tighter than the G-body usually has, but it matches Chevelle springs I.D., so I doubt it will be a problem. They are are available for $84 on EBay,
with free shipping. So at this point, I've got stiffer springs that drop the car where it should be (give or take a little adjustment), for a grand total of $139.
IF I need to have the urethene spacers put into fine-tune the height, I can buy them from Amazon, such as the $30 3/4" rear spacers HERE,
or the $17 1/2" spacer (equaling 1" of rise in the front) HERE.
The drop shocks are another issue altogether, as well as the inner fenderwell. I'm considering whether I can use a heat-gun on the front inner fenders to gain clearance. A modern version of the old-school BFH to clearance sheet metal...